Analysts expect First Merchants Co. (NASDAQ:FRME) to post sales of $97.45 million for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have made estimates for First Merchants’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $93.10 million to $101.80 million. First Merchants reported sales of $74.54 million in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 30.7%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, October 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Merchants will report full-year sales of $97.45 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $344.80 million to $370.50 million. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $408.85 million per share, with estimates ranging from $397.40 million to $420.30 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover First Merchants.

First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $81.53 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.75 million. First Merchants had a net margin of 29.60% and a return on equity of 9.86%.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Merchants from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of First Merchants in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of First Merchants from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Merchants currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.33.

In related news, insider Mark K. Hardwick sold 1,851 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.69, for a total transaction of $73,466.19. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 75,120 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,981,512.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 66 shares of company stock valued at $2,644. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 1st quarter worth approximately $115,000. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,981 shares of the bank’s stock worth $120,000 after acquiring an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,029 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after acquiring an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Merchants during the 1st quarter worth approximately $138,000. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP raised its stake in shares of First Merchants by 2,048.6% during the 2nd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 3,975 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after acquiring an additional 3,790 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.35% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of First Merchants (FRME) traded up 1.02% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $43.42. 147,002 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. First Merchants has a 12-month low of $26.55 and a 12-month high of $44.36. The company has a market cap of $2.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.83 and a beta of 0.94. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $41.43 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.46.

About First Merchants

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank).

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Earnings History and Estimates for First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME)

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